The Young Greens, youth branch of the Green Party, have today launched calls for a “Young Leaders” debate to be held in the build up to the General Election in 2015.
This comes in response to widespread criticisms that the current proposals for Leaders Debates, published on Monday, have excluded parties such as the Green Party and the SNP which have substantial support.
Siobhan MacMahon, Co-Chair of the Young Greens, said:
“The obvious truth from the proposed TV debates is that broadcasters are struggling to adapt to the new political reality that we face in the UK, with five or more parties all staking legitimate claims to featuring in the debate. The Greens have been unfairly excluded from that process, despite receiving over a million votes in the European Elections and beating the Lib Dems into fourth place.”
The Young Greens' proposal would feature representatives from the youth branches of each of the political parties with MPs in Westminster, and would focus predominantly on issues affecting people aged 30 and under. If TV broadcasters are reluctant to take on the idea, it is suggested that this could take place on radio or be live streamed over an internet platform such as YouTube and Google Hangouts.
Clifford Fleming, the other Co-Chair of the Young Greens, pointed to the massive engagement of young people in the Scottish Referendum as a reason for launching a Young Leaders debate. Clifford said, “Politicians usually ignore the youth vote because we are less politically engaged, but the Referendum proved that young people do care about politics when they can see the big difference it will make to their futures. It's time that we had a political debate that speaks directly to young people and reflects the issues that really matter to them.”
Siobhan added, “I really hope that representatives from the Youth branches of other Parties will work with us to make a Young Leaders debate happen. We have an opportunity to work together to really engage young people in politics, and have a real debate about the future of our country.”
The Young Greens have grown by over 100% in 2014 alone, with over 4,000 members – making the Young Greens the third largest party among young people.